The best fruits for maintaining or restoring dental health and whiter teeth include:
Apples contain a lot of the enzyme malic acid, which serves to increase the production of saliva. Saliva actually cleans teeth, and aids in stain removal. Malic acid is so effective it is one of the ingredients in a few brands of toothpaste. Even just biting into an apple and chewing provides enough scrubbing to cleanse the teeth. An added bonus of eating apples is their ability to prevent bad breath by killing the bacteria that causes it.
Citrus Fruits & Pineapples
Oranges, grapefruits and a few other citrus fruits (but not lemons, which are too abrasive), and pineapples are so tart they might help to increase saliva production, which, as previously stated, aids in tooth cleansing. The large amount of water in citrus fruits also aids in cleaning the mouth by simply washing out the bacteria that produce acid and contribute to cavities, loss of enamel and dull teeth! Pineapples have the additional benefit of containing the enzyme bromelain, also a natural anti-inflammatory found in the fruit and stem. Bromelain breaks down protein, and has been used effectively in toothpaste, but the benefits are immediately available by eating one, sweet slice of fruit!
Strawberries not only contain malic acid, they also contain antioxidants known as ellagitannins, which decrease inflammation in the mouth by decreasing tooth-staining bacteria. Strawberries also have a lot of Vitamin C, a natural anti-inflammatory which helps to fight and prevent periodontal disease and inflammation of the gums, both of which contribute to dulling the teeth. One author even suggests brushing your teeth and flossing after a five minute mashed strawberry treatment that entails rubbing mashed up strawberries on your teeth!
Among the vegetables that help maintain tooth health and color are broccoli, celery and carrots. These vegetables also stimulate the production of saliva, the “mouth’s self-cleaning agent“, and as such help to remove stains on tooth enamel. They are hard and crunchy enough so as to be effective tooth scrubbers, and prevent bad breath by killing acid-producing bacteria. The high fiber content in broccoli contributes to fighting inflammation in the body, including the mouth. The high iron content in broccoli also protects tooth enamel from stains and cavities caused by bacterial acid by acting as a protective wall.
Milk, Cheese & Yogurt
Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and especially cheese, also help keep teeth white and bright in several ways, including stimulating saliva production. The lactic acid in these products is thought to assist in protecting teeth from decay. The high calcium, protein and phosphorous content in cheese and milk protect against the erosion of tooth enamel by serving to “buffer acids“. It is also thought that the minerals found on the surface of the teeth are strengthened by eating these foods. Chewing on hard cheese can whiten teeth by cleaning out leftover food and bacteria, and the proteins found in yogurt are thought to “bind to the teeth” and stop cavity-producing bacteria on the spot.
Other Whitening Solutions
There are other substances that naturally whiten teeth, such as baking soda, an ingredient found in many brands of toothpaste (and used in baking, deodorizing and as an antacid), sugar-free gum and even sugar-free drinks (which can just wash or ‘chew’ away food particles). Fish and flaxseed contain nutrients, including Omega 3 fatty acids (which have powerful anti-inflammatory qualities) which are particularly strengthening, and strong teeth are more resistant to the dulling of bacterial acidity. Even cocoa is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, and as such can help keep our teeth white by helping to prevent gum disease and tooth decay (remember to brush!). Last but not least, is water; drinking lots of water is perhaps the easiest way to ensure a good flow of saliva, and drinking water after eating has the rather obvious benefit of washing away food particles stuck in teeth and plaque that has come loose.
For fast and easy teeth whitening, get professional teeth whitening at Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics!
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